States Step Up On Chemical Regulations

State Laws: Legislatures acted on triclosan, microbeads, and flame retardants

Cheryl Hogue

 Triclosan-containing soaps and cleaners. Credit: Cheryl Hogue

Triclosan-containing soaps and cleaners.
Credit: Cheryl Hogue

 A scientist filtered the tiny plastic balls, shown in vials, from each of these tubes of skin cleanser. Johnson & Johnson, maker of these three products, is phasing out the use of polyethylene microbeads in its personal care products. Credit: 5 Gyres Institute

A scientist filtered the tiny plastic balls, shown in vials, from each of these tubes of skin cleanser. Johnson & Johnson, maker of these three products, is phasing out the use of polyethylene microbeads in its personal care products.
Credit: 5 Gyres Institute

In the absence of federal action on chemicals of concern, state legislatures continued a trend of recent years by banning or otherwise regulating commercial compounds. Minnesota outlawed the antibacterial compound triclosan in soaps and cleaners amid growing concerns about possible health effects associated with this compound and its potential to lead to antibiotic resistance. Citing concerns about plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, Illinois banned personal care products containing plastic microbeads. California, meanwhile, is requiring that labels on upholstered furniture indicate whether the items contain flame-retardant chemicals.


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